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Vesper Flights

Narrated by: Helen Macdonald
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Animals don’t exist to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves.

From the internationally acclaimed author of H Is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved pieces, along with new essays on topics and stories ranging from nostalgia and science fiction to the true account of a refugee’s flight to the UK.  

Her pieces range from accounts of swan upping on the Thames to watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary to seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, what we do when we watch wildlife and why. 

This is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us, by one of this century's most important and insightful nature writers.

©2020 Helen Macdonald (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Whimsical essays on nature

Amazingly it is six years since Helen Macdonald's incredible memoir H is for Hawk was published and this is her first book since. H is for Hawk certainly had an impact on me when I first read it and that impact has been sustained, such is its power. Vesper Flights is in a similar style and contains a selection of nature themed essays inter twined with the aspects of the author's own life. We discover how you can actually hear the sounds of a chick in an egg, stories of flocking birds, refugees, ants, migraines and foraging for mushrooms. I loved the story of "up-swanning" and the analogy to the Brexit debate and the incredible imaginary in the piece on glow worms and the wonder of the re-emergence of horn finches in England. This is wonderful writing and I loved it. 5 stars.

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beautiful and detailed and fantastic

I adored this book. it really spoke to me. It's not completely easy or comfortable there is graphic animal injury and death, discussion of human rights abuses and trauma but it left my heart feeling light and my head feeling open. Wonderful to have listened to.